The Taleban was originally a group of Afghan religionists who came to fame through their freeing of some children from sexual servitude to local tinpot warlords.
Rise of the Taleban The original rise of the Taleban was the result of public goodwill accrued from the rescue of some young children, on more than one occasion, from the harems of local Afghan warlords. This is a common practice in Afghanistan, known as bacha bazi, which was illegal under the rule of Taleban but has been reinstated by the new Afghan government. During the period in which the Taleban could exert force over the local warlords the practice was suppressed on grounds of Islamic war. Islamic law is also the justification used for the practice as the use of boys averts sexual activity involving women.
Suppression of Opium On the grounds of Islamic law the Taleban forbade the growth of opium in their territory during the growing season immediately prior to 9/11. This led to the almost total elimination of opium from the Taleban controlled regions of Afghanistan while production continued in the Northern Alliance areas, the export of which is controlled by the Russian mafia. Following the American conquest of Afghanistan opium production has exceeded its highest levels under the Taleban government.
Oil Afghanistan was alleged to be the sight of a potential pipeline for oil or natural gas from the Central Asian fields to potential ports and markets in South Asia. Central Asian proven reserves haven't expanded as quickly as was predicted at the time of the American conquest.
Osama bin Laden Osama bin Laden first arrived in Afghanistan during the period of the Soviet occupation druing which he trained operatives and funded operations for the mujahideen. Despite popular perceptions of the relationship of the relationship of the Taleban goverment to Osama bin Laden and his gang the Taleban twice offered to extradite Osama to any Muslim country willing to take him, in 1998 following from the embassy bombings and in 2001 after 9/11.